Street food vendors empowered to assert role in Ghana’s food value chain

The Ghana Street Foods Project is targeting local food vendors with business management skills to enhance the food value chain.

A baseline survey conducted by the Project indicated most of the vendors are skilled in cooking dishes to feed majority of the population, but lacked managerial skills to run their enterprises as a business.

The Project therefore has the objective of building capacity and improving livelihoods of operators in street food enterprises. It is a partnership between the University of Copenhagen, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Food Research Institute, funded by the Danish Development Agency (DANIDA).

Some selected food vendors in Kumasi have benefited from one week training in record keeping, financial management and customer relationship as well as formation of vendor associations to benefit from collective action.

“These vendors are at the midpoint of the chain; they connect the producer to the consumer, so once they are efficient with what they do, it means that they can procure higher quantities and cost of production comes down, then the final consumer benefits from higher quality and also affordable meal,” stressed James Osei Mensah, a lecturer at the Department of Agric Economics at the KNUST and a PhD student on the Project.

He says the project has the goal of connecting players within the food value chain – from the producer to the processor and to the final consumer.

Mr. Osei Mensah observed this will ensure farmers easily identify their market as the vendors absorb most of the locally grown crops.

The beneficiary vendors are excited at the opportunity to learn.

“If not for this we were ignorant of the work that we are doing…. Now I know how to manage my business and I can even teach my colleagues what I’ve learnt,” said Obeng Stephen of Alaska Fast Foods.

An impact assessment of the training on the beneficiaries will inform scale-up of the project to other areas.

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